PHP7 is upcoming major version of PHP and as it stands now, it should be released on November 12 2015. Current Release Candidate versions are stable enough for testing and it is time to get ready for the fastest version of PHP ever.
If you don’t know what the PHP7 is all about, here is the quick review of what to expect.
- First and foremost, it is fast. Like, really fast. Benchmarked against the current 5.x versions, it is roughly 2.5 times faster than latest PHP 5.6, 4 times faster than PHP 5.3 and 5 times faster than PHP 5.2. In real world situations, you can expect similar values, but that will depend on other factors.
- It uses less memory. It will use some 30% to 40% of memory less than PHP 5.x. This is due to the new and improved data storage.
- A lot of old PHP4 stuff is now gone and many new things are added: strict return types syntax, new operators, exceptions on fatal error…
As for WordPress, test made so far are looking really good, and WordPress on PHP7 works even better (or close to that) than with PHP-HHVM. Some other systems (like OpenCart) will not benefit that much, but it all depends on the code you want to run. With WordPress, expect a lot of speed, and you old hosting box will not handle more visitors and will give them more speed. Let’s hope that hosting companies will be quick to upgrade servers with new PHP.
Dev4Press & PHP7
I have started testing with PHP7 last week, and first plugins to be tested are GD bbPress Toolbox Pro and GD Knowledge Base Pro. Both work as expected without any issues. I have checked the code for the things that might be problem, but these two plugins are clean, and no old PHP4 stuff is in there. It is important to know, that if your code is ready for PHP 5.5 and PHP 5.6, it is 99% ready for PHP7.
In the next month all Dev4Press plugins and themes will be tested and fixed when needed, making all plugins and themes ready for PHP7 at least one month before PHP7 is released.
To get more information on the PHP7 check out these resources:
- Speeding up the web with PHP7: http://talks.php.net/fluent15.
- PHP7 Reference on GitHub: https://github.com/tpunt/PHP7-Reference.
- WordPress and PHP7: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/09/10/wordpress-and-php7/.